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Joseph Gelis
Joseph Gelis, Nurse
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 321
Experience:  LSU Graduate 1992 w/ Bacc. Science in Nursing, 15+ years bedside nursing, mostly in critical care.
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I have had constant dull pain under my sternum,

Resolved Question:

I have had constant dull pain under my sternum, similar to heartburn, since yesterday. It came on gradually, with no change in diet/exercise/medication. Every hour or so the pain becomes sharp, like someone is reaching in and twisting, and it takes my breath away. The duration of the sharp pain is only 30 seconds or so, and then it goes back to a dull pain. 26yo female, not menstruating or pregnant
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Joseph Gelis replied 8 years ago.

Have you been taking Zantac daily prior to these symptoms?

Have you had this before, do you have esophageal reflux?

Does the pain radiate into your jaw, to the left side, down your left arm?

Do you have any other symptoms, weakness, sweating, feeling bad overall?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Joseph Gelis's Post: I just took Zantac today after these symptoms (I've never taken it before this). I'm not sure what esophageal reflux is, but I've never had anything like this before -- I've only had very mild acid reflux once or twice, usually after eating spicy foods. The pain has not been radiating, it's staying pretty central right under my sternum. I feel somewhat bad overall, just kind of a general malaise and fatigue. Thanks for your help.
Expert:  Joseph Gelis replied 8 years ago.
Any time you have new onset chest pain you have to be very cautious, because cardiac pain is not always typical. It is very likely that you are just having a bad case of esophageal reflux, where, the stomach contents can splash back into your esophagus, irritating it, causing pain and occasional spasms. However, you are getting little to no relief from antacids and an acid blocker after one day. You would expect to get some improvement. Given this, and your stated general malaise and fatigue, and especially the fact that it is new onset, I would recommend considering a trip to the ER, just to be on the safe side. There, they can rule out any cardiac involvement and give you some more effective meds for esophagitis, if that is the case. I wish you luck and hope you get some relief soon.
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